Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28th--No Monkeying Around Here....just pure JOY!

Dear Friends and Family, 
This week has been super awesome. We've had so much success in finding, working, our baptism was great, we've got 2 new sister missionaries in our branch and so the branch can now do twice the amount of work, Elder Sobreviga transferred, I have a new companion, I'm now ZL1, we've found some awesome new investigators, 5 now have a baptismal date, we had tons of less actives at church, and our district is now leading the zone.
Monday we had an amazing P day. We wanted to do something different for the last p day of the transfer so we went with Elder Pulsipher, Elder Deguzman, Elder Wilstead and Elder Cudac to see the monkey's in Calatrava. There is a monkey sanctuary there that has all these wild monkey's. We were able to feed them and play with them and they jump all over us. It was super fun and definitely an adventure. There are some way awesome pictures that I'll send in a little bit. Then on Monday night we taught Sister Crisencia. The maid of President Dellomes. She's doing good, has a date for baptism on November 9, but it depends on if her husband says she can get baptized. She is super good and progressing. She can't really read much, but should be continuing on her way towards progression. We then went to Roberto and taught him a quick lesson, I forgot what we taught him. He's pretty much just started lying to the new sister missionaries and to us about all his vices. He still has them, never dropped them. Just lied right through his teeth to President Lopez, us, and the Branch President, and now is a member, so it's even worse. So we're just going to keep helping him, but nothing we can do now. He's in the sister's area now, but I'll explain that later. The San Carlos Branch 1 missionaries also just moved into our apartment to give their apartment to the branch 1 sisters. So now there's 4 in our apartment. More fun for sure, but hard to concentrate sometimes. But nonetheless, still a good time and we have lots of joy, not fun, just joy. 
P-day with Elder Sobreviga
Crazy Monkey wants in my pocket when the food is in my hand

Tuesday we had our district meeting, which is super weird, again... only 4 people. But now there is 8 in our district. After that we were just studying and then we ate lunch... then the Transfer phone call. We were not expecting it because Elder Sobreviga had only been in the area for 2 transfers, that's not long at all here in our mission. Usually 3 or 4 transfers in an area. We had tons of transfers in the zone, it's like a totally new zone. Elder Daplin is back here in the zone, he's in Calatrava B. Elder Pulsipher is now training. Elder Moody transferred to my zone, so we've pretty much just got the best zone in the mission right now. We've got the top missionaries and it's super fun (joy)!  So for the rest of the night we said goodbye to the members and I helped him pack his stuff. I'll be honest at the beginning of our companionship I didn't really like the guy, he was such a punk, but I started to like him by the end. I was hoping he stayed because then that made sure I was here for Christmas because he would transfer before me. But now that he's gone, there is a chance that I transfer before Christmas... and I do no want that by any means. I want to Christmas here, in San Carlos. I love San Carlos. I found out my new companion would be Elder Barangay! He was in Escalante with me when I was in that zone. He's only been out 9 months, and this is his 3rd area. He's super good a teaching though and just has a way with people that it's really good and we're doing great. Also we went to the terminal and picked up the sisters and showed them where they lived. The sisters assigned in our branch, Sister Lara (from Davao) and Sister Serrano (brand new-from I don't know where). They're super cool and way hard workers. Sister Lara's first area was VICTORIAS. And you want to hear the best thing, Sister DeCastro, now in San Carlos Branch 1, was in VICTORIAS as well. IN WARD 2! She has given me news that all the investigators that I started to teach, she baptized! Families, part members that weren't progressing, all whatever, she baptized them! Cool huh??? So I didn't fail in Victorias after all! In Mabini, the Diana family is all baptized too! How cool is that!!!!!!! I guess you just never know what the Lord is going to do. I guess I just needed to have the faith to keep going and going and going, now look what happened. 
Wednesday I went to Escalante to pick up Elder Barangay. Then when we got back I pretty much gave him the run down of what a zone leader is and what our responsibility is for the zone and the mission and he's stoked! Then we just visited the members and had a meeting with President Dellomes to split the missionary areas for our work. We've taken Punao, which is super far away, Stampar, far as well, Kaingat, which is close, and Sipaway island, far away. So we've given the sisters the city area so it's safe and we've taken the dangerous and more "adventurous" stuff I guess you could say. It's going to be even harder for baptisms, but we're determined! 
Transfer Day
Thursday we went to Sipaway Island. We found 5 new investigators, taught 3 lessons to investigators there, commited all of them to come to church and read the Book of Mormon... and... none of them showed up to church. That's going to be the trial for that area. It's expensive if they want to come to church, but it depends on their faith I guess. It's a super beautiful place, but won't progress until we get enough people to be baptized to start the church on the island! Then it'll take off for sure! The only problem is the people are willing for real, but can't come to church because they can't afford it. Then we came back that afternoon made fried chicken then went back to work. We went to Kaingat, that's pretty much where we only work at night because it's the only place close to our apartment. We were punted all night long, but contacted a referral... that turned out not to be interested at all... 
Sipaway Island
Friday was a good day. We did our weekly planning and then went to work. We made a baptismal program. Then we fixed some stuff on our facebook and put of pictures of recent converts and things. Then we went to work. We really just worked with Less Actives, but we found a new investigator. It's the husband of a less active member, who is a return missionary. His name is Edmond. We taught them both and she said she wants to come back to church, but wants her husband. We taught him and he was super interested and seemed like he wants to really know more about the church. Super awesome. We didn't feel the spirit to give him a date for baptism or challenge him, the next lesson we will. There's a little more background that I can't put in my email, but I'll tell you when I get home because this story is long. Anyway, they didn't come to church, but they did text me and say next week they'll come. We have an appointment with them tonight. He's super cool actually. We also taught some other less actives, and we met one that nobody even knew and she came to church on Sunday, with her mom! They have 2 kids that aren't baptized yet. 8 and 9. The 9 year old will be a convert and we have to teach him, but the 8 year old is the branch's baptism. So I'm super excited to start working with them. 
Saturday the baptism was super awesome! And that pretty wraps up my Saturday! But there's more! We taught Sherwin's mom! Before she's never wanted anything to do with the church, nor listen to us, nor read, or pray! However, the Lord is super awesome and blessing us so much right now that He has changed her heart. We taught her, committed her for baptism, and she came to church yesterday with her other daughter that isn't yet a member and now both of them have dates for baptisms! YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!! We also met a less active at the baptism who is a aunt of the boy who's 8 that got baptized. She came up to us and said I want you to come and teach my husband. He's interested and we'll come to church. So! We did on Sunday. I'll tell you about that on the Sunday part.
Wishley's baptism

Sunday we were the only companionship in the zone that had investigators at sacrament. Which is sad... but next week! Nobody needed any interviews so we didn't have to go anywhere. We had a lunch appointment at the Ladiwans/Roberto's, so we ate there for lunch. Then after went to Punao. We wanted to go to the Less Actives husband asap. So we did. He's only home on Sundays turns out. He works in Escalante, so we comes home on Saturday night and goes back Monday morning and stays there during the week. After teaching him he said, "Elder's that makes sense." So we've committed him for church next week and to be baptized on the 24th of November! We also went to a lot of less actives in Kaingat and taught all of them! And committed them for church next Sunday and to repent and to come back to the fold. 
Joan's laundry spot.  

This work is real. Nobody can stop the work for going forth. This week we're going to Bacolod/ Talisay, so see Elder Anderson of the 12 speak to us. We're super stoked and excited and I'm just thrilled for this opportunity. I can't wait. I love you all back home and I miss you so much. I don't know how I haven't died already from missing home, but the Lord just takes care of it I guess. Success has been finally coming and we're excited and going to continue to just work as hard as we can. Elder Barangay and I are doing good and getting along so far. Just keep praying for us and our success and I think we'll be able to do the right things. I love you all and thanks for everything. I'll let you know when I get those packages. 
Elder Ellis

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 20th--Mission Conference with Elder Nielsen of the Seventy

Dear Friends and Family,

This week has been amazing. Earthquake, Elder Nielson of the 70 comes to visit, mission tour, Wishley passed her baptismal interview, Sleepover in Bacolod, Cooking 2 kilo's of Fried Chicken and Kool-Aid, it's just been a great week and the spirit was super strong. 
Looking back I realize that I don't really write a lot of spiritual experiences in my letter. I guess I just never really realized it and I'm sorry for doing that. I always just thought you'd all be interested in my physical experiences and funny stories or something rather than listen to me babble on about my feelings. So this week I would like to share some of the things that had happened. We didn't get much work done this week so I think it'd be a better email if I just shared with you these things, rather than share my week. 
So most of you know if you've been reading my letters that Elder Nielson of the 70 came this week. In preparation we were all emailed a talk by Elder Bednar from 2001, I think. He gave an address in the Marriott Center at BYU and it's entitled, "Strength in the Lord". I would encourage all to read the talk if you want to google it. It's honestly one of the BEST talks I've ever read and ever studied in my whole life. He started it off with reading Mosiah 27:25 and saying that all of us need to change. The atonement has two parts. Most people think of the part that helps bad people become good. What about the good people to better people, then the saints? So that's really what he was talking about. The atonement has two parts, the Redeeming Power and then the Enabling Power. The Redeeming Power of course we all know helps us from sin and can redeem us from the Fall of Adam. We can return back to God and be clean again in his presence. The Enabling Power helps us once we've put off the natural man to become better! Also with the physical side of the things in our life. Elder Bednar talks about his wife being pregnant with all her kids and she was sick in all 3 pregnancies, but the Lord was able to help her with her physical strength. Same thing with Nephi in the Book of Mormon when Nephi was tied up on the ship. He didn't ask to have the removed or for his brothers to untie him, he asked the Lord for Strength to actually BREAK THE BANDS! So it was just an amazing realization that I had that the Lord can help us physically, especially when it comes to our missionary work. It was a great training and really changed the way that I think about my missionary work.

He then talked about the bad traditions that the Spanish brought with them when they originally came to the Philippines and how nothing has changed. All the countries in Asia have no central belief on God. So when the Spanish came to the Philippines they brought that and how it's changed the Philippines because of the belief in God that they all have. However, the established the wrong church here! So it all relates to just bad traditions! Then he says, obviously nobody here reads the Bible because nobody knows what the sabbath day is. And if you actually go to a catholic church and read the ten commandments on the wall if they have them, they're changed. The whole thing about bowing down and worshiping other God's isn't there and also the sabbath day just says, worship on the sabbath. It's super interesting and now you know why they have no clue about it. 

MLC group

Sister Nielsen have a training and she put up a picture of their family with all their kids and their wives. She then went through and told a story about how they love to boat, camp, eat Mexican food, and do all these fun things. When the kids found their wives, the wives and their daughters husbands didn't really like to do all these things and that their family changed a little bit. She said, "You don't have to be a Nielsen to be loved by the Nielsen's." It was interesting and then she talked about our companions. They're not an Ellis! They don't like the crazy things that I like. She said, "There's a difference between TOLERANCE and EMBRACING someone." I was thinking there's only really been one companion that I loved and that was Elder Edem. The other's I've just embraced, I guess you really have to live with them to really understand them. But they're very different from Americans and I've never had an American companion. So I'm really going to work on that the rest of my mission and just have Christlike love for my companions. She talked about why would you attack one other because you're both on the same team! She said you're both here to do the same thing and you have the same purpose. The Lord's put you with this person for a reason, figure out why you're with them. It was a great training and I really loved it and enjoyed it. Their son when to Russia on his mission and didn't baptize a single soul. That would be super rough to have zero baptisms, but later he realizes it wasn't about the baptisms. It was about serving the Lord and fulfilling your purpose as a Priesthood holder that matters. It's our duty to serve the Lord as a Priesthood holder, he talked a lot about that too and really thanked us for being men and stepping up to the plate and answering the call. It was nice to have a general authority say, "Thank you". 
After the initial zone conference with him, or the general meeting. US, the Zone Leaders, the AP's, and the Sister Training Leaders got to have our own meeting with him. He taught us how to become leaders and asked us, "Which way do you face?". Which means, who do you represent? Do you represent the missionaries in San Carlos to the Mission President? or Do you represent the Mission President and the Lord to the Missionaries? It was something that I had never really thought of before, it's simple! But ofter times I find myself representing the missionaries in my Zone here in San Carlos to the President Lopez, rather than the other way around which is what it should be. It was a good lesson that I learned. 
So needless to say, it was a great day!
Okay, so about the Earthquake. Tuesday morning we were studying at our desk and my desk started shaking and I told Elder, "Stop shaking my desk!" and He yells, "LINOG!" Which means earthquake, I learned that work real quick. I've never needed to know it before. So we ran outside real quick to be safe. Our whole house was shaking and the poles outside were shaking and the house was really moving good and the ground was rolling nicely. After it was over after about a minute I was like that's cool! That's the first earthquake I've ever experienced! I was just wondering where the center was because it was pretty strong here so I was concerned where the center was. Carmen, Bohol was the center I later found out at 7.2 on the scale. So that's pretty large actually. We thought maybe Mt. Canla-on was going to erupt. It's still technically active. But it was just an earthquake. Over 80 people are dead in Bohol and I"m not sure about Cebu. We're all safe here in Negros though. Aftershocks have been hitting on and off all week after the initial blow. We had one last night. One yesterday while we were in the middle of teaching a lesson, so that was funny. We all text ed President Lopez if our zone was safe because he had to text the area, which then goes directly to the Prophet which is what Elder Nielsen said. The communication of the church never ceases to amaze my eyes. 
bohol earthquake.jpg
Bohol earthquake, compliments of

members sleeping in church after eq.jpg
Here's some other cool facts I learned:
1. Before General Conference all the general authorities meet in the temple. Elder Nielsen told us the first prayer they offer is always for the missionaries all throughout the world. I thought it was nice. We're in good hands obviously. 
2. 892 Chapels in the Philippines
3. 680,000 members in the Philippines
4. In my mission there are 36,344 members of the Church
5. 26,190 of them are less active... 2/3.
6. Of that: 2,989 Melchizedek Priesthood holders
7. Of that: 1,306 are less active
So needless to say... it's been a good week and there is definitely some work to do with the less actives! We're supposed to be establishing the church here. So, we're going to do more work on that and with strengthening the members and the work in the branch to become a ward and the district to become a Stake in Zion. 
I love all y'all back home. Hope you weren't too worried about the earthquake. We're all safe and fine. I love you so much and I'm thankful for all the prayers that you send my way. Just know many go your way as well! Talk you next week!
Elder Ellis

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October 14th--Conference in the Philippines

Dear Friends and Family,
I must say that I was very impressed with the Sunday Morning Session of General Conference. That was by far my favorite session of all of General Conference. I encourage you to read it over again. I will do it when my Liahona from the mission comes. We get a free one each month! :) In English! It's weird to think that on my mission I will watch 4 general conference's and since I've been on my mission I've already watched 3! Even though I went to the MTC right before conference, so it's not like I have a short amount of time still, haha, but it's just funny to think about. It's totally a different experience watching conference as a missionary though, that's for sure. This upcoming week is the mission tour with Elder Nielson of the 70. I don't think I announced over my email that Elder Anderson of the 12 is coming on November 2. I'm super stoked for that one! This week we'll spend 2 nights in Bacolod. Wednesday night and Thursday night, because we need to be there Wednesday night because the mission tour starts on Thursday morning, then Thursdaynight because all the zone leaders will have a meeting with Elder Nielson after mission tour. It's pretty cool and I'm more than excited for the after meeting.
Monday we did our P day and normally we just have a normal p day, but we wanted to do something a little different. We went to a place called people's park and took pictures. It's a way cool place right on the beach. There's a swimming pool and one of the members is a lifeguard there. It's a nice place and tells a little bit about the history of San Carlos. It's like 5 pesos to walk in I think, but it was worth it and we got to take some cool pictures. Then that night we just packed and got ready for our exchanges with the Assistants on Tuesday.

People's Park
Tuesday we woke up and went to Bacolod to meet with the AP's (Assistants to the President) for our exchange. It usually will happen every other transfer. So we just met them at the mission office and then from there we went back to their apartment and got ready for our exchange. We had a little planning session and then out the door we went. I worked with Elder Doane! Do you remember him? He was in my Victorias house with me and was my Zone Leader for a transfer in Cadiz Zone. It was good to work with him. He's super good at Illango. That was interesting going back and trying to teach in Illango. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I still understand and the gift of tongues is still a real gift! So we actually taught a lot of people. There area is all city and it has tons of people and the members are great and they give tons of referrals and they have tons of people and members help them in their efforts. It's a super established ward. I'm rather jealous, but it's super hot in Bacolod so I count my blessings. We taught 4 lessons to investigators and I actually was able to teach 2 lessons completely in English. That's how cool it is in Bacolod. They use English Book of Mormon, English pamphlets and people understand it. That night we closed our day and talked about the exchange and just broke down how we can do better in San Carlos Zone. It was good.

AP Exchanges
Wednesday we came back to San Carlos and it took a super long time because the road from Bacolod to San Carlos, the shortcut road, there's a long way too, it had been damaged a ton because of a storm that swept thru. There was so many mud slides and things that happened and the road is okay, but the side of the road are not, so it was super sketchy, but still pretty as usual. That drive has to be world famous. It's so nice. It's not even on the map though, that's how cool of a drive it is. I have a map of Negros Occidental and Oriental and it's not found on the map. It's way awesome! Then I got ready for another exchange with San Carlos Branch 1 Elder's.
Thursday I worked with Elder Garcia in Branch 1. Elder Shaffer, his companion, worked in our area in Branch 2. Elder Garcia and I taught some new less actives that they had found and went and visited some members and taught them too. They still have the same investigators that aren't progressing and there are tons of problems, just being shy and being offended. Super funny. I love offended members, they're my favorite to talk to because I pretty much make fun of them while talking to them and they realize how stupid they're being because usually the thing they're offended by is something completely random and dumb. So once they realize that, then they just laugh at themselves. For the most part. We taught a less active the plan of salvation. For some reason on Sunday I put 2 pieces of chalk in my bag. On Thursday when I'm at this LA's house I realize she has a huge concrete wall... that's her house. Concrete. So I drew the plan of salvation on her wall in chalk and taught it to her at the same time. She was totally fine with it and it was an amazing lesson! She was totally stoked on it. Even though she's less active and all, she still know/remembered some of the stuff, so that's okay. 
Chalk Talk
Friday we got up and got ready and did our weekly planning session for the next week. We had no food in the house because we didn't buy an on Monday because we knew we were going to be in Bacolod with week so we wanted to save our money to eat in Bacolod. So... I lost 4 lbs. this week. DIET! haha. Then we went to Sipaway Island! It's an island right off the coast of San Carlos City. I encourage you to google earth it. It's way cool! We got to ride a pump boat with is like the boat Elder Groberg rides in Other side of Heaven, but I'm willing to bet mine was worse. haha. Elder Sobreviga went there last week while I was in Bacolod doing fingerprinting so we went and followed up with all the people that he found there and taught them the restoration again. It was a good day and the island is way beautiful. Tons of beaches and things. There's a concrete road that goes all the way around it. It's a pretty big island actually, bigger than you'd expect. There's a recent convert named Melissa. She's originally from Sipaway and we're teaching all the family out there. We just need some people from there to come to church here, be baptized, and then we can do a special sacrament out there on the island and then grow the kingdom that way. It should be way good. We'll just let the Branch worry about all the details and we'll just get them to come to church first. 
Going to Sipaway


Saturday was a great day. I invited Elder Wilstead and Elder Pulsipher over and their companions obviously for Conference Breakfast! We just wanted to do something that was American because it was all our traditions to do sort of a breakfast thing back home. So I made pancakes, Elder Wilstead made 24 eggs, and Elder Pulsipher made 2 packs of Bacon. It was honestly the best thing we've decided to do in awhile and totally hit home. It was delicious! Conference was then just amazing! I'm super excited to re read it again.

American Conference Traditions
Sunday was more of conference and then we went to Canlaon to do an interview for baptism for them. Then came home. We taught Roberto and his wife about the Restoration. I swear that guy forgets stuff soooo fast. What's a prophet?... no clue. ugh... you knew last week. And we found out he drank a shot. GREAT! So, then we explained that's bad and he knows it's bad. We were super just bold and told him that's super bad, especially now that he's baptized. Repentance lesson here we come.

This week's been good and busy. This next week is going to be even busier. Also, they're putting sisters here in San Carlos. They're going to split our areas! So San Carlos One will have 2 sisters and we will have 2 sisters. The San Carlos 1 Elders are going to move to our apartment. That's going to be fun! haha. And then I found a house last week for the sisters to live. I guess you can call me the house finder, because that's number 2 I've found in the mission for missionaries. It's pretty fun actually. Sister's are going to be weird... I've never really had Sisters in my zone... I did in Cadiz, but they weren't in my district. Now they'll be serving in my branch with us. We'll have 2 separate areas though that we cover so it'll be okay. 

I miss you all back home. I hop you know that. Thanks for all the prayers and thoughts that you throw my way. I know this work is true and I will work as hard as I can especially the next 11 months! "Leaving it all on the court". I love you. 

Elder Ellis

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 6th--Roberto's baptism

Dear Friends and Family,

How is everyone back in the USA? With the USU loss to BYU, I'm feeling a bit down, if USU is going to lose to anyone, it shouldn't be BYU. But rather than being the typical BYU fan and trying to make excuses, I'll just say, well played and move on. Even though Keeton did hurt his knee... I won't even bring that into the picture. Well played BYU. 

Roberto Magante is now baptized and confirmed into the true church on the earth! It was pretty cool. When we got to the church there was no water in the font, so that was scary, but luckily Elder Ellis is super awesome and knows how to go outside to the pump and get water into the font. I had to do this in Mabini, so that was good. This week has been weird, I feel like we didn't work much, but we have some pretty high numbers, so it's been pretty cool. I'll start into my week I guess.
Roberto Magante

Baptism of Roberto

Monday we did all our p day stuff pretty quick. After emailing we ate at Jollibee, have I told you what that is? It's like the fast food of the Philippines. It's like the McDonalds of the Philippines. McDonalds is super expensive here and actually a little bit more high class. After that we just took off to go to Bacolod because we needed to get some stuff. Some Elders asked if I could pick them up some shoes there, so I did, and I bought myself a pair as well. Just the rubber shoes that are cheap. They just gave me money and I bought them all. We ate at Pizza Hut, which is super expensive here, so I don't think I'll be doing that again. I can't eat there on my missionary support money. Which goes to show you how much money we actually have for missionary support... We slept at the missionary apartment in Bata. The same one that we usually stay at where we killed a huge rat the intruded in the night.  It was bloody and super smelly, so that was not the best part, but it was still good.
Tuesday we had our MLC training and it was good. Just learned more about how we can get weekly baptisms. Also there's a new stress thing that the missionary department is putting out and it's also a new thing about adjusting to the missionary work. We went over that and how as leaders in the mission we need to be aware of other missionaries, mostly just the new ones because they tend to be stressful and depressed and we've gone through it already so we need to help them. It's cool because every missionary needs to go through that process of just adjustment, so it's cool that they're coming out with this awesome helping guide for us. After the training there is always ice cream, which honestly, is my favorite part, I know it should be the training, but no... it's the ice cream. And we just get to talk to other missionaries and things and see what's going on the mission and just socialize. It's called, "Ice Cream Social" for a reason, so that was nice. We traveled back and got home at about 8pm I think and then just planned for our next day training that we were giving to the zone. We were wasted tired too. 
Elder Pulsipher & Ellis

Wednesday we did our zone training. It wasn't as well as I think it was. Usually at the MLC they print off the power point and give it to us, but this time they said we were in charge of doing our own notes and so while they're talking I'm too busy trying to make notes, so yeah, it's a terrible idea and it makes the training worse, so I'm going to bring that up. But it was still an okay training. After that Elder Wilstead and I had exchanges. He worked with me in San Carlos area because I wanted to see if I could lead the area, which I can. After 4 weeks I know it all pretty well. So it's good. I'm just going to say that was the most fun/ joyful day I've had on my mission. Being able to speak straight up English to my companion all day long and him to understand it all was a great experience, one that I have not experienced until this week. Our teachings were great and he's only been speaking Cebuano for 4 weeks and he's doing great at it! We found a new investigator too that's actually a husband of a member and he's been coming to church the past 2 weeks too. They have a daughter who is 6 months old, but they're not yet married. So we're going to explain that we have someone that can marry them and see what they're plan for that is. I think it'll be great. So yeah, we had a great exchange and I learned tons of things just like, new teaching skills that I can use. He's got some really good opening BRT or building a relationship of trust, is what we call it. So that was a good experience. We ate dinner at Pres. Dellomes house and taught Sister "Yaya" or Crisencia is her real name, but Yaya is a lot easier. It's her nickname. 

My Zone
San Carlos

Thursday we exchanged back and that was sad. Just cause we're really like the same person. So we studied in the morning and then at 12 headed up to Canlaon and then at 2 came back down to the mountain. Got home at 4 and then Elder and I just did our work. We taught a less active family, the Maremla family that just randomly started coming back to church the past 2 weeks so when we visited them, they're just like, yeah, we want to come back to church. SO that was awesome actually. They were there this Sunday as well. Then we went to Roberto's house to explain to him what's going to happen at his baptism because we had to move it to Friday because i was needed in Bacolod on Saturdayfor fingerprinting.

Friday we taught 3 less active families because we didn't focus on less actives this week. I've really just started focusing on investigators and if we get punted or we have no initial plan, then we go to the less active family. So I don't know if that's terrible, but we're trying to get weekly baptism and teaching a less active family isn't really going to help with that, so I've moved them to my secondary plan. We then had Brother Roberto's baptism. It was great and all went well. I baptized him. And he wanted to come up out of the water early and so I had to dip my whole right leg bended and crank the dude under that water and i was all wet. Usually I'm fine. After the doors to the font were closed and Roberto went to the bathroom to change... I hadn't swam in over a year... so... no I'm just kidding, I didn't swim in the font! haha. It was a thought though. That night we went to Pres. Dellomes house again and taught Sister Yaya and ate tuna. That was good. I don't mind tuna like other fish. It's pretty good and yummy.
Saturday I woke up and we all met at the terminal at 8am to go to Bacolod. All the American missionaries only. That was the most fun bus ride ever. There were 5 of us on the bus, one is weird, but the others are totally awesome. We took some cool pictures and just made the most of the journey. We went to Bacolod and did our fingerprinting. I got a package from Grandma and Grandpa thank you so much! I got 3 letters from Courtney, holy cow letter take forever, I think it's mostly the missions fault because they were sent 3 different weeks. I think the mission just gathers them and keeps them and waits till someone comes out here to San Carlos. Anyway, we were heading back when our bus just stops and we all get off. There was a semi that flipped on a bridge and blocked the whole thing and we couldn't get past. There was cliffs on both sides and it's only a 2 lane bridge... every road here in only 2 lanes. So yeah, we couldn't get through. So we just chilled up on the mountain top for 3 hours and took some way cool pictures and talked. We had a dad come up and ask us to take a picture with his 10 year old daughter. Not everyday you see 4 super good looking Americans in the mountains of the Philippines. We got home too late for them to get back to their areas so with our 2 bed that we have we made a way for 5 of us to sleep on the 2 beds and with our chair cushions. That was a terrible sleep because I ended up on the tile. However, the tile was cold, so it was a bit nicer actually! Anyway, I woke up the next morning to a jacked up back. 
Photo shoot
Only looking forward....

Sunday was great. We had 5 investigators at church. Roberto was confirmed a member. Then we taught the gospel principles class, even though there is a teacher she just doesn't like teaching of something... it's called, "Magnifying your calling" not just give all the crap to the Elders. But, we can't say no, so we taught the class. We didn't have any interviews or anything to go to, so we stayed and had our branch council meeting. We just brought up all this stuff that we needed help with. We had a new BML (Branch Mission Leader) called last week and so that was good and he's an RM. Just returned from being less active, long story... haha. Then we went home and studied then worked. We taught some other less actives and then taught Roberto about the Priesthood because we think he'll be interviewed soon for it. So we needed to teach him about it first. I think he already knew the what, I just think he didn't know the how or why or the deeper what. So it was a good Sunday.
So this week was pretty good. With the baptism and everything, it was great of course! This weekend we're not sure if we're going to continue Wishley's baptism. We didn't have many chances to teach her last week because of my Bacolod trip, so we're going to push it back to next week we're thinking. So that should still be a good experience. It's good that the investigators are better prepared for baptism and understand the why and what they're doing, rather than just fast fast fast and get them baptized. 
A Tuku, which will rip your skin right off with its teeth!
I love this work and I'm missing America. Especially since it's the upcoming Christmas season, there's tons of stuff out now and music from the Christmas stuff. A lot of Tagalog Christmas actually that I heard last year that are pretty cool. It's all good though. We have a goal to have a baptism on Christmas Day this year, so that's going to be super awesome. Elder Anderson is coming on November 2, still none of us are sure why, but it's going to be awesome. So the time is flying by super fast right now. We've got exchanged with the AP's tomorrow actually, so I will be going to Bacolod again! Food is so expensive there! So yeah, we're working with the AP's tomorrow and Wednesdaymorning. Should be a good experience. Elder Doane is one of the AP's, so I guess we'll see what's up with him. Thanks for everything y'all are doing for me back home and for all the prayers. They are greatly appreciated. I love you so much! Till next week!

Elder Ellis